By Request


Wednesday, April 2, 2003

Picture this jaboticaba
jelly made at home

If you've ever doubted that a picture is indeed worth a thousand words, remember this jaboticaba tale:

A couple of weeks ago, an article ran in this section about the loyal crew of women who make jams and jellies every year for the Spring Bazaar at the Honpa Hongwanji Hawaii Betsuin.

The ladies preserve all types of fruit, but on the day the photographer came by, they were making jaboticaba jelly -- and now quite a few people are after that recipe.

Irene Toyama, who has a jaboticaba tree that she'd like to put to use, was one of them, along with several people who came to the bazaar and asked for the recipe.

The jaboticaba is like a grape in size, shape and texture, but it grows on a tree, the purple berries directly fixed to the trunk, papaya-like. It can be eaten fresh but often is used in preserves.

This recipe is from the jelly-making crew at the hongwanji. What it doesn't include is how much fresh fruit you'd need to get 4 cups of juice for the jelly. The ladies simply cook all the fruit they get and make all the juice they can -- and say they have no idea how it breaks down.

If you are lucky enough to have a source of jaboticaba berries, you probably can't be picky about quantity. Juice it all. If you have less than 4 cups, cut the recipe. If you have more, make a second batch (but for best flavor, don't use more than 4 cups of juice at a time).

Jaboticaba Jelly

4 cups jaboticaba juice (see note)
1/2 cup lemon juice
4 cups sugar
Combine jaboticaba juice with lemon juice in a large pot. Bring to a boil. Add sugar, stir well and cook rapidly. After a few minutes begin testing: Lift a spoonful of boiling syrup about 12 inches and let it pour back into the pot. When ready, the jelly will flatten into a thin sheet and slip away, leaving the spoon clean. Remove from heat; skim off foam.

Pour jelly into sterilized jars, leaving 1/4-inch space at the top. Allow to harden. Seal by pouring 1/8-inch layer of paraffin over the surface. Makes 4 pints.

To extract juice from fresh fruit: Wash and stem fruit. Place in a pot with just enough water to cover. Cook until very soft. Strain through a double layer of cheesecloth. Do not squeeze.

Nutritional information unavailable.

Food Stuffs: Morsels

Send queries along with name and phone number to:
"By Request," Honolulu Star-Bulletin,
500 Ala Moana, No. 7-210, Honolulu 96813.
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Asterisk (*) after nutritional analyses in the
Body & Soul section indicates calculations by Joannie Dobbs of Exploring New Concepts,
a nutritional consulting firm.

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